These last few months, the Threshold Ministries Missional Community has been meeting for our regional retreats. Across Canada, our Evangelists gathered in 3 locations:
Eastern Retreat - we met near the flood-swollen St.John River, at Beulah Camp (Beulah, NB)
Central Retreat - we were nested in the escape of The Queen of the Apostles Renewal Center, in Credit River Valley (Mississauga, ON)
Western Retreat - we gathered in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains at King’s Fold (Cochrane, AB)
It did not matter where we were, we met God together!
We had time to Re-new our friendships, as our time together was filled with team-building activities to have fun and get to know each other better. Whether it was playing charades or working together to move balls through a maze on a tarp, we laughed and had fun.
Worshipping together is always important when we gather. Both as a Missional COmmunity and as the Body of Christ. The Community in Ontario worshiped in a round chapel with a domed roof. The acoustics were amazing and the harmonies made me feel like I was in heaven. It was a very special time.
This year, following our theme "Re-fresh, Re-new, Re-engage," we looked at 3 spiritual disciplines to help us Re-engage with the Father. Our study on "Centering" or "Breath Prayers" helped us to slow down and focus our prayer times. We shared how we could/do use these prayers in everyday life.
We use these short, one or two breath prayers when we don’t know what else to pray. I
remember as a youth, my church was just down the street from a fire station. Every time
a fire truck would go by with the sirens roaring, we would stop as a church and say “Lord
have mercy, keep them safe.” Other Evangelists expressed how they use similar simple prayers as a focus point in a time of crisis or pain.
Another focus point during the Spring Retreats was the discipline of "Meditative Prayer." In this discipline we looked at the account in Luke 2, where the angels appeared to the shepherds in the field. We explored what it would have been like to be there, how it would have sounded, smelled, felt like...
Using our imaginations we brought scripture to life!
For our last discipline, we looked at our personality types according to the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, and how each personlaity type would relate to different spiritual disciplines. For many of the attendees, this was the first time they had seen some of the suggested prayer types. For more information on the disciplines we looked at, checkout the book Meditative Prayer: Entering God's Presence by Richard Peace.
We also participated in an evening of "Prayer Stations," where we were encouraged to
think outside the box in our prayer time. Several activities helped us do this, such as watching images of Jesus through the ages flip through on the computer to see which one caught our attention, or adding a leaf on the "tree of life" to remember people who have helped us in our faith journey. It
was a meaningful experience.
Our last session together was focused on how we can Re-fresh our ministry. One of
the best ways to do this is to share resources to use in personal study or ministry. I am
working on combining a list of those shared. Look for it in an upcoming blog.
Our times together are always full of encouragement, prayer and worship. If you would like more information on how you can join the community and be welcomed to events like these check out our website: www.missionalcommunity.ca.
Dean of Community